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Strategic Plan 2020 - 2024

Center for Urban and Regional Analysis


INTRODUCTION Mission: Our mission is to serve as a transdisciplinary research and outreach hub that specializes in geospatial science to better understand the issues and challenges facing cities and regions in Ohio and beyond. We serve as a bridge across academia, industry, the public sector and the community through basic and applied urban research, research-based undergraduate and graduate training, and outreach. A focus of CURA is the environmental, social and economic sustainability of cities and regions in an urbanized world.

Vision: We will be among the leaders at the national and international levels in the application of GIS and geospatial science to urban and regional issues, and will be regarded as a local authority and trusted partner in this domain by Central Ohio stakeholders and community members.

Strategic Planning Objectives: Overarching • •

Establish presence as a preeminent hub for urban geospatial and GIScience research on campus and across Ohio Establish research objectives that encapsulate the varying applications for GIS to engage partners across the university and shape policy to benefit the community at large

Education and Career Development •

Build on our partnerships, research experience and experiential leadership to strengthen Ohio State’s standing in the area of GIScience research on the national stage

Outreach and Advancement •

Increase presence in the local community to broaden the reach and understanding of GIScience in their communities and education.

Research •

Establish a proposal group to enhance success in winning large scale funding

Facilities and Personnel •

GIS Research and Research Computing Support

Diversity •

Increase demands for GIScience



Background and Current Conditions Increase Demands for GIScience: Across Campus - researchers are discovering that the ability to express their research outcomes through time and space. The ability to identify pattern through multiple dimensions, aids researchers in developing new avenues and outcomes that may not have been considered prior to GIS incorporation into their research. This increase in GIS incorporation makes research outcomes and deliverables more robust and engaging. Nationally - GIS is becoming a growing trend in government agencies and municipalities across the country, aiding in city planning and resource allocation. GIS has a growing impact in policy decisions. The growing demand for GIS knowledgeable individuals in the public sector allows CURA to engage in research that has a direct effect on people’s lives and our growing list of community partners demands a knowledge and expertise that only CURA can provide. Internationally - GIS has become a vital part of policy creation and execution but it has also had an incredible impact on commercial logistics. The investment in GIS by commercial entities is a growing field globally and CURA is in a unique position to train students across multiple fields of study to use GIS in their own specific fields to enter the workforce with educational and practical tools that will enable them to surpass their peers in the workplace.


INTRODUCTION Diversity Culture, ethnicity and background are essential for the health, expansion, and sustainability of the GIScience community and the discipline. The demand for GIS and GIS talent is overwhelming and the demand currently outweighs the supply of properly trained employees. It is essential that CURA engage in the community to enlighten a new generation of individuals about the prospect of GIScience. The demand for talented individuals in the future, and the accessibility of GIScience software currently available will only make the viability and importance of CURA’s presence in the community at large more pressing. With the increase of open source software, GIS can no longer be a profession for the elite. Individuals from a diverse background can bring new and exciting ideas for research and perspective. CURA needs to be at the forefront of this effort to expand GIS education. Especially in the areas where research and teaching are essential to the mission of any institution, CURA must ensure that the knowledge created and technicians produced are connected to our society on a fundamental level.

Distinguishing Areas of Strength GIScience and CURA at The Ohio State University has distinguished strengths that are connected to economic development, public health, public policy, urban sustainability, and environmental impacts. In developing these strengths, CURA has fostered partnerships across the university and with strategic community partners. Our current strengths and areas of research include: • • •

Sustainable Transportation Urban Mobility Public Health Crisis Research o Opioid Research and Resources Distribution Integration o Infant Mortality in Ohio Environmental Impacts o Urban Heat Islands o Climate Change



Education and Career Development 1. Build on our partnerships, research experience and experiential leadership to strengthen Ohio State’s standing in the area of GIScience research on the national stage Goal 1 Build Partnerships with other universities, engaging in GIS and Geospatial Research (Target Universities: University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, University College London, Georgia Institute of Technology)




Engage with or exchange students across institutions

Exchange two students for six months or longer in the next five years

Engage with other institutions to build relationships, broadening CURA’s presence on the national and international stage

Engage with five universities over the next five years

Engage students outside our current sphere with professional development and research experience Elevate CURA’s national and international profiles and reach

Goal 2 Build Partnerships with State Level policy makers



Include state level partners on advisory board

Add one/two state level policy makers on advisory board

Outcome Raise CURA’s state level profile


2020-2024 GOALS AND STRATEGIES 2. Establish partners at the university to bring forward new research programs across varying disciplines engaging GIScience and GeoSpatial in a way that propels the research area and technique forward. Goal 1 Build relationships with atypical programs and research areas to engage in interdisciplinary work



Give GIS presentations to non-traditional areas/disciplines

Five presentations per year to departments/colleges not yet associated with CURA

Engage in Research with PI’s across varying disciplines

Submit three research proposals in the next five years that are co-pi’s in nontraditional research areas

Outcome Raise CURA profile within university and build ongoing relationships with those researchers Engage and develop new areas of research



Outreach and Advancement 1. Increase presence in the local community to broaden the reach and understanding of GIScience in their communities and education. Goal 1 Increase level of awareness in local communities regarding GIScience

Strategy Engage in Community Outreach activities

Metric Participate in three science related community outreach events per year over the next five years.

Outcome Increase awareness of CURA to the local community

Goal 2 Increase donor activity and engagement with center goals and research

Strategy Work with ASC Development to develop a donor profile and giving strategy

Metric Complete giving strategy by end of year one

Outcome Provide roadmap for future giving and overarching research goals


2020-2024 GOALS AND STRATEGIES 2. Establish partnerships with community organizations and participate in more community centric agendas to enhance the public welfare at the local, state, and national levels. Goal 1 Become a convener of regional data producers and customers to promote accessibility of comprehensive, high-quality regional data.




Submit application to NNIP to begin CURA representation and provide neighborhood level data for public accessibility

- Successfully become a partner in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership - Maintain annual membership as National Indicator representative for Columbus Create a memorandum of understanding between CURA and MORPC within two years

Broaden research agenda for the center

Develop strategy with MORPC to provide top level technical support and data in partnership with NNIP

Create working partnership with MORPC and shared agendas



Research 1. Establish a proposal group to enhance success in winning large scale funding. Goal 1 Provide guidance to fundamental changes in the federal funding landscape to ensure longterm research goals, ensuring the relevance and impact of its research program

Strategy Establish proposal group

Metric -


Create top tier list of potential researchers and solicit participation by 12/31/19 With created group, establish a plan for proposal submissions in the following year by 5/31/2020

Outcome -


Increase submissions to national funding agencies by 10% each year for the next five years. Increase awards granted to the center by 5% per year over the next five years

Goal 2 Develop transdisciplinary research agendas, aligning and partnering with centers, university research foundation, and Arts and Sciences strategic research growth areas.



Invite individuals from a broad category of research areas onto the newly envisioned proposal group

Maintain at least 20% minimum of individuals with atypical research areas

Rotate individuals from a broad category or research areas each year onto CURA’s advisory board

Maintain at least 5% minimum of individuals with atypical research areas

Outcome -

Broaden scope of research CURA is engaged in - Build network through all areas of the university community Diversify reach and research in which CURA engages



Facilities and Personnel 1. GIS Research and Research Computing Support Goal 1 Create a 100% FTE position in the Center that caters specifically to the research and educational requirements on campus surrounding a growing GIScience need.

Strategy Solicit partner for funding position outside of Arts and Sciences

Metric Successfully hire one GIS Analyst/Researcher in the next five years.

Outcome Establish CURA as the GIS hub on campus

2. GIS Technical Support Goal 1 Work with university community (OCIO, ASC Tech, Office of Research, College of Engineering) to propose a 100% FTE position at the university level to provide GIS technical support to campus researchers and students.

Strategy Work in conjunction with ASC Tech and Geography Department Chair to speak with other units on campus to facilitate the technical support agenda for GIS Engage in conversations with other offices on campus to relay and promote technical support for GIS on campus



Create strategy and list of units to approach for continued need of GIS technical support.

Create strategic plan with other units to provide a basic need that is currently not being serviced in the research and educational community.

Successfully hire one GIS Technician at the OCIO/University level in the next 5 years

Provide software, licensing, and technical support to researchers and students to propel Geospatial research and education on campus


2020-2024 GOALS AND STRATEGIES 3. Office Space Goal 1 Relocate to space that more readily accommodates a growing group of researchers (faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates); this space should also be more accessible and accommodating to a growing number of outside partners

Strategy Relocate Center to more expansive and accommodating space

Metric Relocate center operations in the next five years

Outcome Facilitates CURA growth and professionalism



Diversity 1. Change the culture and climate within the center by recruiting and retaining researchers, staff, and students that grow robust and integrated communities. Goal 1 Increase the number of women and under-represented groups associated with and working for the center.

Strategy Recruit graduate students across differing ethnicities and genders

Metric Successfully hire three graduate and five undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in the next five years.

Outcome -

Vary skill set in CURA Vary life experience and perspective in research approaches Be more representative of society at large.



Scorecard 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Education and Career Development Build Partnerships Across University Build Partnerships with State level policy makers

Outreach and Advancement Increase Presence in Local Community Establish partnerships with community organizations

Research Establish Proposal Group

Facilities and Personnel GIS Research and Research Computing GIS Technician Office Space

Diversity Recruiting and retaining diverse individuals



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CURA's Strategic Plan 2020-2024  

CURA's Strategic Plan 2020-2024  

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